Published: 14:34, 17 January 2019
| Updated: 19:00, 17 January 2019
The former partner of a woman missing for more than three months has today denied murdering her.
Taxi driver Ben Lacomba, 38, is alleged to have killed mum-of-five Sarah Wellgreen on October 9 last year.
He was initially arrested in October and released on bail. He was then rearrested.
Police revealed they were treating her disappearance as a potential murder investigation, despite no trace of her being found.
Miss Wellgreen, 47, disappeared from her home in New Ash Green on Tuesday, October 9.
It was stated at an earlier hearing Lacomba’s taxi licence was “no longer in existence”, as it had been surrendered to the council.
A trial date was set for June 18 next year. It is expected to last up to four weeks.
Prosecutor Martin Yale said previously: “A body in this case has not yet been found."
Miss Wellgreen has not been in contact with her family and her mobile phone is missing. Police have searched the house.
She left her car at her home address and since she disappeared there have been no transactions on her bank or credit cards.
Detectives say the search for Miss Wellgreen is ongoing.
Her son Lewis Burdett recently said happy birthday to "the most amazing woman I have ever known, my mum Sarah Wellgreen".
He has described the months since she has been missing as a "never ending nightmare" and pleaded for people to keep reposting appeals to find her on social media.
Officers have been searching areas of woodland and countryside for weeks. About 200 people living in the village also volunteered to help search.
Wearing a suit and tie, bearded and balding Lacomba was remanded in custody after the brief hearing at Maidstone Crown Court.
Judge David Griffith-Jones QC told Lacomba it was important that he set out by March 8 the case he intended to advance.
More by this authorKeith Hunt